Recently Google released their new trademark policy for the United States. This latest change has the potential to have a greater impact on PPC campaigns, which is why PPC account managers are taking notice.
This new policy allows using the trademarked terms in ad creative by resellers, affiliates, aggregators, unaffiliated informational sites, sellers components, replacement & compatible parts in US market. So there will be no more whitelists or blacklists maintained by Google’s systems – use of your trademark, as long as it seems legitimate, will be allowed freely.
Google is already facing two class-action trademark lawsuits, and as Eric Goldman on his Technology & Marketing Law Blog says, this move could open them up to more.
So how much impact will it show if global advertisers respond to this significant change in policy? What actions should you take immediately to mitigate the risk of having your trademark used incorrectly by your reseller network, affiliates and potentially competitors?
1) The key action you can take now is to refresh your guidelines for trademark use with your reseller network and affiliates. You cannot depend on Google to use it anymore – but you can still clarify exactly how these partners may use your trademark based on your contractual agreements with them. Setting standards such as ad content, format and even bidding rules will reduce problems in future.
2) If your trademark is being used by advertisers posing as legitimate resellers, you can still file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint with Google. A successful DMCA complaint will not only remove paid ads of these advertisers, it will also remove their natural search listings entirely. You can find more information in this link: www.google.com/dmca.html.
Contributed by Ajesh B